Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Improper Fraction Game

     My kiddos have been busy practicing converting improper fractions and mixed numbers.  One game we play is called, Add It Up!  The materials are simple for this activity.  You need a die, paper, and pencil.  This activity works best in my classroom with partners.  
     Each player will have his or her own piece of paper and pencil to compute the answers.  (I do not ever like to see a child sit idly by, while another student is doing ALL the work).  Another piece of paper should be provided to record the scores.  Both players will compute the numbers being rolled on the die, and complete the work, even if it is not his or her turn.  I explain to my students they must write everything their partner writes, in order to double check for errors, and to get more practice with improper fractions.  
     The object of the game is to convert an improper fraction to a mixed number.  
*Players will take turns.  The first player will roll the die.  This number will be the denominator. Make 2 fractions with an addition sign in-between.  The numerators will be blank.
  (I use 9-sided dice, telling my students that the 0 on the dice may not be used).  A six sided die works fine too.

*The first player will roll the die twice more.  These 2 numbers will become the numerators for the 2 fractions being created.
*For example, if a 3 is the first number rolled it is the denominator.  If a 5 and 4 are rolled on the next 2 turns, the fractions to be added together are; 5/2 + 4/2
*Add the fractions together.
*At this point, partners will decide if the new fraction is improper or not.  
*If the fraction is improper, the players will convert the improper fraction into a mixed number.  
*If the fraction is not in simplest form, my students have to simplify the fraction.

*When both partners are in agreement that the mixed number is correct and in its simplest form, the first player records his answer on a piece of paper.
The recording sheet is nothing more than a piece of paper divided in half with both students' names at the top.
*The second player then repeats the process.
*Each time both players have recored their scores, this becomes a round.
*The largest mixed number wins each round.
*Play as many rounds as desired.
*When the activity is completed, the student who has won the most rounds wins the game.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fraction Concentration Game

Here's a fun way to practice changing a mixed number to an improper fraction or an improper fraction to a mixed number.  My kids really enjoy this concentration/memory game.  There are several cards so it is not a quick check before moving on to something else.  I designed this game for lots of practice with the concept of mixed numbers and improper fractions.  The kids have to convert the fractions and mixed numbers. This means pencil and paper are required!  
Each pair of cards has a mixed number and an improper fraction.  At the beginning of the game, all cards are place faced down in some type of array.  Students take turns flipping over 2 cards at a time.  If the 2 cards make a mixed number/improper fraction match, the student gets both cards and receives another turn.  If the cards do not match, they are turned facedown again, in the same position as before.  
Students must pay attention to each turn and concentrate in order to remember where cards are positioned.  This concentration will help later on in the game when a student finds a card and they recall where the match is.  After all matches are made, the student with the most cards is the winner! 

Click on the title below if you would like to go to TPT and read about the concentration cards.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

$100.00 Amazon Gift Card

I had such a good response to my first giveaway last month, I decided to try it again!  This time I am going B-I-G!  This giveaway is for a $100.00 gift card from Amazon.  Spend it anyway you want!  The giveaway is from February 11 - February 18.  Since it's  Valentine's week, this might come in handy, especially if you don't receive everything you want from your sweetheart. :)  Simply go to the entry box in my previous post and follow the directions.  Have a great week and good luck!

Preview of the Amazon $100.00 Gift Card

$100.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

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Friday, February 8, 2013

The Kit-Kat / M & M Cake

Well, it seems as if my teenage daughter has fallen in love with pinterest too!  A few nights ago, as I was heading out the door, she called out and asked if I would pick her up some cake mix, chocolate frosting, and large bags of Kit-Kats and M & M's while I was at the store.  She loves to bake new things and so I thought it would be fun to see what she made with all those ingredients.  
Later in the evening, she and one of her friends presented my family with one of the most caloric, fattening, and sweet foods I have ever eaten.  Now, I am a huge fan of chocolate...any kind of chocolate...white, milk, or dark.  I really thought I had built up some type of intolerance to the caffeine in chocolate.  Was I ever mistaken.    Although the cake looked more than a little yummy, after only a small piece of it, I began to fill the effects.  I thought I was going to have to be peeled from the ceiling.  Wow!  I was on a chocolate high...@10:00 p.m.  I was afraid that while I was literally doing jump jacks in the kitchen and singing a cappella with my son, I was not going to be able to sleep that night.  (Never fear, when I laid my head on my pillow, I didn't have another thought until the next morning when my alarm went off).  
The cake was beautiful and very tempting.  However, (I can't believe I am saying this), it was just too sweet and full of chocolate.

My Daughter's Cake

I did make one mistake.  I bought an assorted bag of Kit-Kats.  I think the different types of Kit-Kats gave the cake some character and mixed it up a little. :)

The Cake From Pinterest

Throw a ribbon on my daughter's cake and I believe the cakes could pass for twins.  I get dizzy just looking at both of these cakes.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Twitter Stalker

     I want to start out by saying that I am a straight and narrow follower of rules.  It doesn't really matter what it is or where I am, if there is a rule, I try my best to follow it.  Having said that I would like to share a story that happened to me this last week-end.  Friday evening, my husband and I took our oldest son, who was home from college for the week-end, to dinner.  While we were eating, my son asked me why I didn't have a Twitter account. He said he'd been thinking about it and he felt that since I was on Teachers Pay Teachers I should have another way to communicate with fellow teachers.  He even volunteered to set up the account for me.  I wouldn't have to do a thing.  I could just sit back and relax and "tweet" my little heart out.  I was a bit reluctant.  My son, like most teenagers, is computer savvy but, is not afraid to hit keys and buttons at light speed.  I wanted to tell him I appreciated the thought but, I would eventually set up a Twitter account myself.  However, the look on his face, and the fact that he is all grown up and still wanting to help his momma was too much for me.  So, instead of politely declining the suggestion, I whole-heartedly agreed.  At least it appeared that I was excited on the outside, even if I was cringing on the inside and secretly hoping he would get busy and forget all about mentioning Twitter to me.
     The evening passed without anymore mention of Twitter.  By the next afternoon, I was under the false impression that my son had given up on the idea of helping me.  It was later that night, just about the time I was getting ready for bed that he came back to my bedroom and announced he was about to sign me up on Twitter.  Not only was he going to sign me up, he was going to find me some new friends to help get me started.  
     He grabbed some pillows and sat down on the floor beside my bed.  I decided to work on lesson plans while I waited.  I wanted to be close by in the case of an emergency but, I was too stressed to watch.  After a few initial questions, he got to work signing me up, and I relaxed a little and became involved in my own work.  I began to think this might be a good idea after all.  What could possibly happen?  It was only a Twitter account.  People sign up for Twitter everyday without shutting down the World Wide Web, or crashing the Internet.  I decided it was no big deal, even if I wasn't in control of the situation.
After approximately 10 minutes, he stood up and announced he was finished.  I was officially part of the Twitter society.  I thanked him as he showed me my Twitter account.  I was actually very grateful.  I gave him a hug and then looked down at the  computer.  Wow!  I had 7 friends already.  I couldn't believe it.  I asked him if it were normal to get 7 new followers within the first few minutes of getting a Twitter account.  He said he guessed so.  The next time I looked down, I had 4 more new followers.  I thought this Twitter thing might actually be a very cool adventure.  How exciting.  I finished getting ready for bed but, just couldn't stay away from my computer.  It had only been 5 minutes but, I just had to look one more time.  I told myself not to be disappointed if I had no more followers since the first few friends had to be no more than a fluke or coincidence.  Imagine my surprise when I saw how many followers I now had...21.  I had 21 followers in 10-15 minutes.  I was now positive that Twitter was my favorite social network on the Internet.  I ran upstairs to tell my son how many followers I already had.  He, along with my other two teenagers, were duly impressed.  I crawled into bed with a big grin on my face and checked Twitter one last time.  Now there were 29 followers.  I closed my computer and went to sleep with a fuzzy, warm feeling inside, thinking how friendly all those Twitter people were.  I had visions of new friendships and interesting conversations dancing around in my head.
     Needless to say, the next morning, as soon as my feet hit the floor, I hurried to my computer to see how many more nice people were following me.  I half-way expected to see at least 50 or more followers on my account.  As I looked at the screen, I was confused.  I couldn't understand what was happening.  I had 0 followers.  I knew that couldn't be right.  I was beginning to lose a little confidence in Twitter.  I hadn't been on the site for 12 hours yet, and Twitter was already experiencing some kind of technical difficulty or glitch.  I decided to click off my account and try again.  The second time around was no different than the first.  I still had 0 followers.  While I was problem-solving what could have gone wrong with my precious Twitter, my eyes were drawn to the top of the Twitter page.  There I saw the words that any rule follower would fear...the words that send chills down a straight-laced back and causes the heart  to sink to the pit of the stomach...YOUR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN SUSPENDED.  What?  Suspended?  Me?  It couldn't be.  I felt there had still been some type of mistake...some terrible, horrible mistake.  I do not do things to get myself "suspended."  After I stopped shaking, I willed myself to click on that awful word, "suspended" and find out what was going on.  I couldn't image what in the world I could be suspended for.  I am almost positive I had an out-of-body experience as I began reading all the rules I had broken.  Yes, there was more than one!  I was "aggressively following people," I was "spamming."  I was abusing the rules of Twitter.  I was no more than a common low-life criminal.  I had lived my life as morally as I could, respecting and even welcoming rules in my life.  Now here I was living out my worst nightmare.  I thought it couldn't get any worse but, I was wrong.  Next, I read where people had blocked me and even reported me.  I was mortified!  What had happened?  I began to my scrutinize my account.  I had to find out why I had broken so many rules and  become this ruthless outlaw overnight.  
It didn't take too long to figure out what had happened.  Along with setting up my account, my son had also found me some friends on Twitter, just as he had promised...569 friends to be exact....569 friends in a matter of 5-10 minutes.  Yes, that's right he had followed all those people so his momma could have some new friends.  Apparently, you can't do that, even for your momma.  Apparently, it gets you suspended before you even get started.  All the puzzle pieces fell into place as I stared at that number...569.  
I was humiliated and humbled as I proceeded to my "suspended" account to promise the Twitter folks that 1.) I would not aggressively follow or spam innocent individuals anymore, and 2.)I would follow all the rules and guidelines of Twitter in the future.
     As I whined and carried on all day about how terrible I felt and how my self-respect had severely suffered, I tried to find a rainbow through the clouds of self-pity and woe-is-me.  I knew there must be a lesson somewhere to be learned.  "If you want something done right, do it yourself."  Maybe, but I didn't think so.  "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."  No thank you.  Not today!  Then it struck me.  In the words of the legendary Beatles, "Let It Be," summed it up for me.  O.K. I messed up.  I messed up B-I-G.  However, in the scheme of things was it such a horrendous event in my life?  No blood was shed, no lives lost.  I had messed up, yes, but, I had tried to fix it the best way I knew how.  If Twitter would have allowed me, I would have written a letter to all the innocent 569 people I had annoyed and bothered.  But, we all know if I had written and sent the apology letter, I would have been suspended for spamming again. :)
     Having said all this, if you are feeling brave, or wouldn't mind being associated with a Twitter outlaw, I have now installed the Twitter gadget on my blog.  Please feel free to follow me anytime.  I promise I will be good. :)


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sunday Super Sale

I don't know about everyone else, but, I am beginning to feel the excitement building at the thought of Teachers Pay Teachers Sunday Super Sale.  My wish list is ready and waiting!  I began the sale for my store today, (Saturday).  My store sale will run today through Monday, 
(February 2 - 4).  I am offering a 20% discount on every item in my store on each of these days but, on Sunday you will receive 28% off of each item since TPT is throwing a big one-day sale!  Relax and enjoy the week-end!  As for me, I will be busy looking through all the new items I've purchased, and making plans on how best to use them in my classroom!  A teacher's idea of excitement sure does vary from the rest of the world. :)

Simply click on the sale poster below if you would like to visit my store!